Mom: How’s that math homework coming?
Calvin: I’ve almost started!Bill Watterson,
“Calvin and Hobbes”
So hey… apparently November is over. When did that happen????
Oh. Yesterday, I guess.
And how did I do on my NaKniSweMo project?
Full. Of. Fail!
Did I work on it? Oh, yes, I worked on it - if by “work on” you mean “think about.” I thought about it quite a lot. In great detail.
Did I knit a stitch? Did I cast on? Hell, did I even sketch a line?
Not so much.
Granted, I was extremely busy, with mostly mission-critical stuff. (Stop that. I know you saw me spin a couple of Abby batts. So? Other than that it was all mission-critical.)
So. Too late to start, let alone finish. But not too late to evaluate and to present the evaluation.
To recap, then, the subject of my cogitations. Here’s our poor friend, exactly as I left it on the fateful day when I faced the music and abandoned the idea of trying to get it ready in time for Rhinebeck:
How was it screwed up? Let me count the ways. Let us review the three problem areas.
1. The sleeve cap shaping.
Too much fullness under the arm. Doesn’t look so bad spread out, does it? But here’s a fairly realistic simulation (sorry it isn’t the real thing - I thought I had pictures of this, but I can’t find them, and my resident photographer is off campus at the moment, and… I learned today just how badly I suck at taking pictures of myself in the mirror) of how it looks if you wear it and if you don’t happen to be flapping your wings:
See? not so flattering or comfortable.
This is an easy fix - though like all hindsight fixes it would have been a whole lot easier if I had paid any attention to that still small voice that nagged at me when I was actually doing the shaping. Spilt milk. Anyway, the answer is simply to adjust the increase ratio on the sleeve side.
The shoulder is constructed from the ridge down, and the armscye is shaped with a series of increases on both sides of the “seam.” The ratio on the body side (A) is just fine. So to get the desired angle/bulk I just need to change the ratio on the sleeve side (B), using fewer increases and placing them farther apart.
It just means being a little more… realistic… with the measurements.
2. The neckline.
Yeah, I know. But it’s MY design, after all. Ahem.
The pink line indicates the shaping of the existing neckline. The yellow line indicates that of the desired neckline.
This, again, is an easy fix. All I need to do is go back and plot it out based on the RIGHT SKETCH, instead of the WRONG ONE. Simple geometry. We have the technology. All it requires is me paying attention and remembering not to be a moron. ::headdesk::
3. The bands/facings.
This is the only part that’s going to be tricky and require some actual engineering strategy.
No matter how you slice it, yank it, block it… this just pulls in too much.
There are several possibilities here. I could go back to Plan A and add the bands and facings later instead of working them inline. (Pain in the ass.) I could flesh out the section with teeny-tiny short rows here and there. (Horribly complicated.) Or I could work that section at a slightly looser gauge. (Probable winner.) I did swatch it that way once, back in April or May, and I think it worked out well. I’ve made some changes to the plan since then, though, and besides that swatch was not big enough to tell me what I need to know, since this is a problem that manifests itself increasingly over longer stretches. So I will need to work a more representative swatch before I can make a real decision about this bit.
Finally, I need to take a long hard REALISTIC look at the amount of base yarn I have left and the amount I can retrieve by frogging the sleeve (while firmly refusing to think about how much yarn I could have salvaged if I had faced the music before cutting the steek) before making another irrevocable and potentially lethal decision - whether to try to knit Mark II out of what I have or to cover my ass by getting Jen to dye me a whole ‘nother whack o’ yarn that I know will be all one dye lot.
How soon am I actually going to DO all this?
Honestly, no idea. Not immediately. I have club tsocks to churn out - we are frankly in the home stretch of the great Catch-Up of 2008 (long-term side-effect of the great Yarn Drought of the same year), because we want to start 2009’s club on schedule. I have an ugly mob - sorry, I mean a strangely attractive but exceedingly fervid mob - scaling the barricades to breathe down my neck about Swan Lake. I have the final club tsock from 2007 (Roxie) to prepare and release. I have… tsundry other tstuff… pretty high up on the urgent to-do list. So this isn’t coming to the fore right away, though I do hope to squeeze in some of that swatching soon, while the thinking is still pretty fresh in my mind.
Your guess may well be as good as mine.
So, you liked my blocking solution for the Moebius? Well, I didn’t. I mean, the strategy was pretty much OK, but the more I thought about the implemenation the more I changed my mind. At any rate, it’s been through three more blocking phases since you last saw it.
Bedtime, last night: I went to check on it and it suddenly struck me that the blocking tiles that were in the middle of the sandwich are rubber. So I removed them and found, sure enough, that the bottom layer was still a whole lot wetter than I wanted it to be. I replaced the tiles with a towel. Un-pin, remove, replace, re-pin.
Middle of the night: I kid you not - my middle of the night doesn’t occur when most people’s does, but whenever it was I woke up in it, because it suddenly occurred to me that… well… what the hell purpose was the towel serving except to delay drying that much more? So up I got, unpinned the top layer again, removed the towel, and re-pinned without it. (NB I did actually have a reason for putting something between the layers: I was trying to prevent sharp creases at the foldy ends. But that was more simply accomplished by just leaving a little slack in those spots.) Also positioned the ironing board more advantageously. And then padded back to bed to sleep the sleep of the righteous.
First thing in the morning: Again, see above re my morning not happening when everyone else’s does. But when it did happen I made a beeline for the Moebius and found it dry and nicely blocked. So I unpinned it, sprayed the unblocked section with water, and pinned that out with the rest of the piece draped underneath.
If I’d been blocking it for someone else I probably would have gotten it more thoroughly wet, but for my immediate purposes this was more than good enough. I wanted to WEAR it! and it’s only going to get scrunched up anyway, after all.
(Incidentally, if you don’t want to make your hair hurt again… do NOT try to think about what happens if you try to fold a Moebius scarf in half along the cast-on line. Seriously. Don’t.)
So it dried pretty quickly, and I have been wearing it, and I am loving it. Alas, I can’t show you pictures of it on (please see way far above re pictures of self, taking in mirror, me sucking at), but I’ll remedy that as soon as opportunity arises. Meanwhile, here it is, glamming it up on the carpet:
And here it is ready for its closeup:
I am loving it. I am so, so, so loving it.
But I can’t say I’ve got the Moebius bug entirely out of my system yet. In fact… I’m plotting at least two more experiments of this kind, one of them so diabolical, so sick and perverted, that… well, let’s just say it goes far, far beyond “twisted.” More on that if I ever manage to bring it to fruition.
Meanwhile… now that the shetland/alpaca is finished… I’m spinning this:
That’s the beautiful icelandic lamb / silk / cria blend that Cassie gave me at Rhinebeck. A gift with a purpose: I had told her I was struggling to get the hang of spinning icelandic, and she was determined to get me over the hump and make me love it as she does. Well, score one for Cassie, because this stuff… is da bomb. It did take a little doing to get acclimated - to get a real feel for how beautifully lo-o-o-o-o-o-o-ong this fiber is - but I am now one with the icelandic. (Why yes, I did just order another nice little whack of icelandic/alpaca blend. Why do you ask?) I am loving this so much that I am tempted to finish it as fine singles. Only… I have a two-ply sample that I made when I first got it home, and that is so lovely that I don’t think I can bear not to ply the rest.
Luckily, I don’t have to commit yet.
For now… I can just keep spinning.